Why Renoise decided to be less powerful than it can be?


(Akiz) #1

English is not my native language, so have patience please.
It is not easy topic… and I am not sure where to begin.
But i will try to argue the best i can because i think that Renoise team made little mistake here.
Why i think that Team should think how to make more macros in instrument possible.

Some facts:

1. Renoise didnt have knobs untill Renoise 3. It had just sliders.
1.1. Knobs can be fine (they have bigger “resolution” than sliders…)

BUT Renoise´s knobs dont represent values they are linked to. So they are not precise, so they dont have to be detailed and can be replaced by sliders.

1.2 Knobs that are not needed takes too much space, one knob can be replaced by two horizontal sliders.
Text would be under every slider. If you need to see values also i think that something like “when you touch slider, text is replaced by value” would be ideal. sliders.png

2. If every knob can be replaced by two sliders, we can have 16 macros at least.
2.1. We need 16 macros at least because macro is the only way how to modulate instrument envelope.
THIS IS WHERE RENOISE DECIDED TO BE LESS POWERFULL THAN ANY VSTi PLUGIN.

2.2. When you insert any VSTi plugin and then insert INSTR. AUT. device you can expand it and see any number of vsti parameter.
So there is no problem to modulate any number of its parameters.
So VSTi instruments have infinity amount of macros but Renoise native instruments have just eight.

Scenario and solution for better understanding:
1. I have Renoise instrument with 4 waveforms assigned to 4 modulation sets. And i wanna modulate attack of them by velocity tracker. So i have to assign 4 macros to the 4 attacks and then modulate it (lets say it is simulation of brass instrument).
Problem 1 :This thing will take 4 macros, it is not good!
Elegant solution: Velocity (or key-tracking) device for the instruments should have selectable target available (so it shouldnt infuence just envelope level). I would assign it to the attack and everything would be solved…
Not so elegant but possible solution: Make 16 slider macros possible so i wont be so sad that 4 of them are taken by these attacks that are assigned to velocity trackerdevice inside the mixer…

Another reasons:
1.
16 knobs or sliders is very common on today´s midi controllers

2. Renoise possibilities would be bigger.
2.1 : I´ve heard that Renoise doesnt wanna to be complicated. To be fair, Renoise is very complicated by its principle but no by its possibilities!
Look at menu in Reaper, ProTools or MuLab. Renoise is still very minimalistic in this manor.
I dont understand why to think about Renoise like about an Ipad app. Renoise has the most hardcore users i know (besides puredata etc :-)), we

dont need fancy knobs if it just look good and doesnt have any function… And we dont need Renoise to be less functional, just saying.

Thing that i hate about macros and doofers
Space for text is too small and sometimes i cant type anything that would describe knobs function well enough. Size of the text should be influenced by the lenght.

So think about replacing knobs with sliders and making 16 macros possible PLEASE.
dont wanna to use paper and think how to get instrument realtime and modulation functions into 8 knobs.
I´ve realized it yeasterday with Uhe plugins on Linux. I´ve just opened instr. aut. device and modulated a lot of (more than 8) crazy things :slight_smile:
Sometimes, I would like it do it with Renoise also… :slight_smile:


(ffx) #2

Hi.

1. Renoise didnt have knobs untill Renoise 3. It had just sliders.

1.1. Knobs are fine because they can show values more detailed than sliders.

BUT Renoise´s knobs dont represent values they are linked to. So they can be replaced by sliders.

1.2 Knobs that are not needed takes too much space, one knob can be replaced by two horizontal sliders.
Text would be under every slider. If you need to see values also i think that something like “when you touch slider, text is replaced by value” would be ideal. sliders.png

2. If every knob can be replaced by two sliders, we can have 16 macros at least.
2.1. We need 16 macros at least because macro is the only way how to modulate instrument envelope!
THIS IS WHERE RENOISE DECIDED TO BE LESS POWERFULL THAN ANY VSTi PLUGIN.

2.2. When you insert any VSTi plugin and then insert INSTR. AUT. device you can expand it and see any number of vsti parameter.
So there is no problem to modulate any number of its parameters.

So VSTi instruments have infinity amount of macros but Renoise native instruments have just eight.

Are you now for knobs or against? Sorry, didn’t get it… Personally I really hate knobs. Sliders are the right ui element for monitors in my opinion. You can control it much more precisely and also read the value better. On the other hand the Renoise’s knobs are quite good readable, better than in most vsts.

I also agree that the meta knobs should display the automated parameters value and unit, not percent values.

This is also a problem in the automation graph, where it is always displayed 0 to 100% in percentage unit. There should also be the real parameter value and unit. Percent is just useless for a lot of parameters.


(Akiz) #3

F*cking long story short:…
Renoise must have 16 macros because:
When VSTi instrument has macros it is because it connects more function under one knob. And you can still modulate any other parameter via automatization (instr. aut device).
But Renoise instr. envelopes can not be modulated / automatized if they are not assigned to macro. So you can run out of macros very fast…
So they are much more limited than VSTi instruments and it is weird if you realize, that they are native instruments.

I am against knobs in Renoise (they are macros, they dont represent one single value… sliders are enough, take less space).
I am not against knobs generally :-).

I dont even think about changing that Jurek mentioned (real values, not percentage) because I dont know how to do it if macro points to two or more values.
For now, just getting rid of knobs and be possible to create 16 macros would be enough for me (and maybe adding targets into instrument enevelope meta devices as well :wink: ).
I dont think that anything more complicated can get to R 3.1 to be fair.


(ffx) #4

LOL o

F*cking long story short:…
Renoise must have 16 macros because:
When VSTi instrument has macros it is because it connects more function under one knob. And you can still modulate any other parameter via automatization (instr. aut device).
But Renoise instr. envelopes can not be modulated / automatized if they are not assigned to macro. So you can run out of macros very fast…
So they are much more limited than VSTi instruments and it is weird if you realize, that they are native instruments.

I am against knobs in Renoise (they are macros, they dont represent one single value… sliders are enough, take less space).
I am not against knobs generally :-).

I dont even think about changing that Jurek mentioned (real values, not percentage) because I dont know how to do it if macro points to two or more values.
For now, just getting rid of knobs and be possible to create 16 macros would be enough for me (and maybe adding targets into instrument enevelope meta devices as well :wink: ).
I dont think that anything more complicated can get to R 3.1 to be fair.

Lol, ok, I did not get any of the message :slight_smile: That’s true, when connecting more than one parameter, only percentage makes sense.


(Akiz) #5

Why not? :slight_smile:
Last try:
Look,you have vsti synth. It has four envelope generator. You wanna automate attack of four of them. So it takes 4 slots in instr. aut. device but there is no problem to modulate another 12 or 24 parameters because you can control any number of parameters via instr. aut. device, it can be expanded as you want…

When you wanna automatize 4 attacks in renoise native instrument, then you have to assign it to 4 macros and just 4 macros are left. But there should be more macros than just 8. Because if i wanna asign decay to another macro, some fx to some another macro etc. 8 macros are not enough.

So i just wanna say that Renoise´s instruments decided to be much less controllable than VSTi instruments mainly because of knobs and not sliders (2sliders can occupy space of 1knob… so no 8 knobs in macros and doofers but 16 sliders… ) for no reason imho.


(ffx) #6

Maybe they did not want to implement a horizontal scrolling for the macro bar in the instrument view? Seems to be the only good/lazy reason for it… :slight_smile: But I read that the instrument concept will be completely revised in Renoise 3.1, so maybe you will get what you want in some day in the future.


(Akiz) #7

Oh. i didn´t read it. I know just about new filters and phrases. So i am very curious :-).
I am sure, that R3.0 has showed a lot of new possibilities until its release.

And 16sliders (2slider instead of 1knob as you can see on the picture) takes the same amount of space. No scrolling here and 2x more possibilities…
Dont think how to solve that mini instrument editor though…


(Zer0 Fly) #8

Why only 16? How about “unlimited”? Ah, ok, you need to be able to address via pattern effect commands where only one nibble can be used to choose the parameter number…


(Akiz) #9

And because “unlimited” need much more thinking and space :-).


(lwpss) #10

Have you ever tried to perform live using more than 8 knobs simultaneously? Why would you want to modulate every attack of four envelopes? Do you realize it’s pretty unusual to see only one instrument in the song? Honestly, I can’t see how that idea applies to real life and music someone would want to listen.


#11

How about if the instr.automation device could access instruments in the same way it can VST’s and list ALL parameters.
This way you could leave macros as they are but also have another route in via the instr.automation device. I presume it’s going to work like this with Redux anyway so why not support it natively…


(Akiz) #12

I like your idea…
But there are some small problems.

  1. If this device can exist inside the instrument, it can not be automatized so its parameters must be assigned to macros again (so we are still limited by 8 macros).
  2. If it cant and it has to be placed inside the mixer, then it is not tied to the instrument and it must be created in every session for every instrument again and again…

So what i would love to see is your idea (it can exists inside and also outside of instrument) + 16 macros.
Then i can for example: use your effect inside the instrument and assign attack to a instr. velocity. tracker and still have all 16 macros still left.
So it would solve every problem i mentioned!

We are getting somewhere :yeah:


(Akiz) #13

Have you ever tried to perform live using more than 8 knobs simultaneously? Why would you want to modulate every attack of four envelopes? Do you realize it’s pretty unusual to see only one instrument in the song? Honestly, I can’t see how that idea applies to real life and music someone would want to listen.

  1. No, i dont need to.
  2. Because i am creating complex and layered brass synth. And attack should be defined by velocity (strong of your breath…)
    3)??
  3. Because i create templates for various synths (drumsynth, basssynth, brasssynth etc.) and i wanna assign 16 parameters so i can easily create sounds from my midi keyboard without touching mouse.
    It is also great for experimenting. I love old analog synths because you can play and touch anything. I want it in Renoise also.

Even if you dont find it usefull. i dont think there is any reason why dont have it :-).


(danoise) #14

A knob, being different from a slider, is a way of indicating that it can control multiple parameters.

I don’t think we improve things substantially by adding twice the number, 16 may also not be enough (someone pointed out that building a drummachine from individual, macro-controlled sounds would easily require dozens upon dozens of macros. A very real scenario?)

Another thing to consider is to have something different than just knobs/sliders. For example, we currently do not have anything that could act as a switch or trigger button, and you might want that (e.g. for resetting an LFO). Heck, even an XYPad could fit in there (although I tend to ignore those. They are tricky to map to a controller, and generally not as useful as they look…)

Btw: speaking of labelling of macros, I will just quote myself:

It could be done when you are mapping to a single parameter, but how do you then represent a knob which has been assigned to two different parameters?

TheLua API has two functionswhich allow you to translate a value into a string and vice versa, maybe this is the way to go?

Source: https://forum.renoise.com/t/fake-vs-real-value-parameters/42477


(lwpss) #15

Devops could integrate Pure Data into Renoise or add a full-blown piano roll all the same. There are reasons to not do it though. It’ll take a lot of time and work, it’ll clutter the interface, it’ll make the whole app more complex and unstable, and all in all very few people will actually need it.

Also:

THIS IS WHERE RENOISE DECIDED TO BE LESS POWERFULL THAN ANY VSTi PLUGIN.

I have yet to remember any VSTi that has more than 8 internal macros. Massive and Cableguys Curve 2 have no more than 8 for sure. Of course you can bypass that using Instr. Aut. device, but that doesn’t really mean it’s common to do so.


(Akiz) #16

LWPSS: You didnt get me. VSTi might have only 4 macros but you can still automatize anything of it in any daw. Macros are here mainly for connecting more parameters under one knob. But in Renoise you cant automatize any envelope parameters if they are not connected to macros (AFTA8 device would solve it… ). And it is very common for me to automatize envelope parameters.
And i dont know why you talk about piano roll and pure data. It takes much more work than just change knobs for sliders IMHO. I dont wanna any new functionality…
I just wanna some more room left when 4 macros are assigned to envelope points :(. And they shouldnt, no VSTi, synth or sampler i know works like that…
So what i basically trying to say is, make a way how to automatize envelope and also have 8 macros for realtime things…

Danoise: Ok, but that on/off can be made (0% means off, 100% means on) and then i can assign midi button to it that will send one value on first press and second on the second. It is workaround but it works. But there is no workaround for what i want.
Ok 16 may not be enough but it is better than 8 and it doesnt need any big changes. Sliders are already used in small instrument editor so i dont think that indication you mentioned is really important.

And if there would be device like AFTA8 described, macros would be less needed for essential things like automatizing envelope. To be fair, if this device would exist, i wont need 16 macros and I can image amazing things…
What would be best: modular gui where you can insert small xy, button, slider or knob. What you want :]]

So i am for AFTA8 device that can be inserted in instrument and even outside. If it is in, it is tied to it. If it is outside, you can select instrument it will modulate like with instr. aut. device…


(danoise) #17

Danoise: Ok, but that on/off can be made (0% means off, 100% means on) and then i can assign midi button to it that will send one value on first press and second on the second. It is workaround but it works.

When toggling, yes. But not when wanting to do something like resetting an LFO. Then you need to output a “value change”, and this is tricky with a macro (in order to change the value, you need to know the current value so that you can set it to a different one). Much better, and easier understood, with a simple one-shotbutton event. You know, like in Renoise: slightly rounded button = toggle, rectangular = trigger.


(Akiz) #18

Yes, i dont have anything against buttons :]
Something like modular gui in the instrument editor would be amazing… You wanna 8 knobs or 8 triggers? or 12 sliders and 4 knobs? no problem :yeah:


(Zer0 Fly) #19

From my experience, renoise can internally already work like triggerevent/stream modes (though it’s not documented)? I see this behaviour in metadevices, some seem to output a value in a “oneshot” style, i.e. resetting an lfo to the same position twice will work, the keytracker will also broadcast the same value multiple times. Some only update the value, when the input has changed (i.e. try to let the hydra pass on multiple lfo reset commands of the same position - only the first will trigger). The formula device will always broadcast the number on every tick, i.e. triggering an lfo on every tick endlessly. I hope I remembered my findings correctly.

So the technical side seems to be already there, it’d just need to have polish&consitency and being documented, or having meta devices being able to choose the behaviour from a list. Pure on/off triggers might be useful, but I think “triggers” that simultaneously trigger a value are much much better!

Other than that, just let the renoise instruments have unlimited macros, and let the instr.macro device choose the macros to expose like the instr.autom device does for vsti’s. Very often you’d like to just put value control to a single sheet, and not automate it but just use it to setup an instrument, for searching in all those automation and fx chains isn’t that great with complex setups.

As for knobs vs sliders - huh, in a gui that makes little difference for me, but I bet “round knobs” can represent a value range more accurately in a screen space that’s easier to manage - squares vs long rectangles. I do sometimes think the knobs in renoise are a little big, but then again i have a monitor with crap resolution.


(danoise) #20

From my experience, renoise can internally already work like triggerevent/stream modes (though it’s not documented)? I see this behaviour in metadevices, some seem to output a value in a “oneshot” style, i.e. resetting an lfo to the same position twice will work, the keytracker will also broadcast the same value multiple times. Some only update the value, when the input has changed (i.e. try to let the hydra pass on multiple lfo reset commands of the same position - only the first will trigger). The formula device will always broadcast the number on every tick, i.e. triggering an lfo on every tick endlessly. I hope I remembered my findings correctly.

Completely true, and when I talk about a button that reset an LFO it would just be a visual representation - under the hood, the macro would of course still represent a value.

I simply imagine you could rightclick and select the desired visual representation… An alternative, and perhaps easier to understand, would be to simply make the center of a rotary knob act as a (re)trigger?

But no matter what, I think the macros need to be able to receive unchanged values. Currently, in case you have a macro connected to an LFO, you currently need to “nudge” the value before the macro will fire a value. I can’t really think of any downside to implementing such a tweak?